Telecom ministry mandates mobile operators to provide monitoring facilities to security agencies

Telecom Lead India: The Indian Government has mandated
mobile service providers and Internet service providers to provide the lawful
interception and monitoring facilities to the security agencies for services
including Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Nokia, Pushmail, Skype, Yahoo, Gmail etc
as a part of their license agreement.

Security agencies are able to intercept the services
including Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Nokia, Pushmail, Skype, Yahoo, Gmail
etc through the lawful interception facilities provided by the telecom service
providers, said Milind Deora, the Minister of State, Communication and
Information Technology.

However, security agencies have intimated that they are
not able to decrypt some encrypted intercepted communication to readable
format. The telecom service providers have stated that they have provided the
requisite interception facilities to security agencies.

With regard to decrypting the intercepted communication,
it is stated that Telecom Service Providers are mere carriers, who are not
supposed to know the content of the intercepted messages and may not be able to
decrypt the content. 

The security of these services is achieved through encryption technology. These
services are availed by the citizens across world through Internet. There are
multifarious aspects involved in dealing with the issues related to such
communication services such as technical, international relationship, legal and
regulatory policy, commercial and security requirements etc. 

A technical committee established by the Government analyzed all the above
issues in order to work out an appropriate solution to the problem which
balances the requirements of Security Agencies with the secured communication
needs of trade, commerce and industry.

The complexities involved in the issue resulted in the
committee being unable to come out with unanimous conclusive recommendations.
The report of the committee and the comments of some the members on the Report
were referred to a high level panel of experts who have since submitted their
final recommendations on a focused and practical approach to the entire issue.
However, the Government regularly interacts with all stakeholders to resolve
the issues arising from time to time. 

[email protected]